This consist of a set of tests that give a better idea of the functioning of your bladder, thus allowing for a full diagnosis and proposal of the most appropriate treatment for the dysfunction.
Types of urodynamic tests
We consider three key tests:
- Flowmetry is the simplest test of all, it consists of urinating into a device with sensors that analyse how the urine is expelled, guiding the specialist on current working of the patient's bladder.
- Cystomanometry is a more in-depth study. The test is more invasive as a catheter is used on the patient, which goes to the bladder and is used to fill it with a liquid. This procedure allows us to study the bladder filling phase. A probe is also inserted through the rectum, with which the infra-abdominal pressure is measured. Although they are not painful techniques for the patient, they can cause discomfort.
- Flow pressure is a test that, in addition to including cystometrogram, adds an emptying phase. Once the bladder is full, we invite the patient to urinate and record how the bladder behaves during emptying. It is the most in-depth test available.
When should these tests be carried out?
These tests are aimed at bladder diseases that occur alongside malfunction. This includes undesirable bladder contractions that cause urine leakage, patients who suffer obstruction from prostate conditions, neurogenic bladder disorders in paraplegic patients… the field is very broad.
It can be recommended by various specialists who have a relationship with the pelvic floor in their specialty, such as urologists, gynaecologists, surgeons or paediatric surgeons.
These tests do not require any anaesthesia, but they can be uncomfortable, especially in male patients in whom the urethra is much longer. In female patients it is much less uncomfortable and the placement of the rectal catheter is similar to the placement of a suppository.
The tests are simple and usually last between 30 and 45 minutes. During this time, we provoke and reproduce the symptoms we refer to and obtain a graphic record of what we observe.